2020 local election field taking shape

Vickie Cheek

Just days after being sworn is as Laurens County Coroner, Vickie Cheek filed for re-election.

Cheek, who was appointed by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster to fill the unexpired term of Nick Nichols, is seeking her first full term. Nichols passed away in December.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love my job,” said Cheek, who spent 19 years as chief deputy coroner under Nichols and took over the office following his death.

This is her first election.

“I’m excited and proud of my decision,” she said. “It is my distinct honor to serve the citizens of Laurens County for the past 19 years as a deputy and chief deputy coroner.”

Through Tuesday morning, no other candidates had filed to run against Cheek.

Several other local races – including a crowded field for Laurens County Sheriff – will be contested in November.

Incumbent Don Reynolds will face former sheriff Ricky Chastain, who Reynolds defeated in 2016, former chief deputy Jarvis Reeder and veteran local law-enforcement officer Ted Richardson.

On Laurens County Council, Chairman Davis Pitts is facing challenges from local Republican Party Chair Brenda Stewart and former councilman and state representative David Tribble, both Republicans, in District 7.

Council Vice-Chairman Joe Wood is being challenged by political newcomer Luke Rankin for the District 2 seat.

In District 3 and District 6, respectively, Garrett McDaniel and Diane Anderson are seeking re-election and are so far unopposed.

Two hopefuls have filed to run for Clerk of Court to replace the retiring Lynn Lancaster. Republicans Mary Lauren Powers and Michelle Simmons have filed in that race.

District 14 Rep. Stewart Jones will be seeking his first full term after replacing the retired Mike Pitts soon after 2018 election and completing the majority of his two-year term.

Jones is so far unopposed as is the rest of the Republican-led local delegation – Dist. 16 Rep. Mark Willis, Dist. 42 Rep. Doug Gilliam and Dist. 9 Sen. Danny Verdin.

Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo was also unopposed as of Tuesday. Stumbo is seeking his third term as the circuit’s chief prosecutor.

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